Horse racing is an exciting sport with a long history. Some of the most famous races are the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, which make up the Triple Crown series. These three elite races are known the world over and attract throngs of spectators, who often travel long distances to watch them. However, horse racing is also a dangerous sport and horses frequently die during the race or in training. When this happens, it calls into question the integrity of the industry and causes people to turn away from it.
The earliest recorded horse race occurred in Ireland in 1752. It was a match race between two rivals and took place on a sand track at Kilmacudhe. It was a brutal contest, and one of the participants died. The surviving rider was awarded with an engraved silver porringer, and the race became very popular.
By the 1830s, America had developed its own Newmarket and racing was a national sensation. The English traveler William Blane said that a major thoroughbred race roused more interest than a presidential election. The races were often regional, pitting Northern champions against Southern ones, and they were attended by crowds of tens of thousands.
Modern thoroughbreds are bred and trained in the United States, Ireland, France, England, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and other countries. The sport is very regulated. Horses are inspected and must pass a rigorous physical before they can compete. Injuries are common, but horses can recover from most of them with proper treatment. However, if the injury is severe enough to put the animal at an undue risk of suffering or death, it will be euthanized.
While there are many different types of horse races, Thoroughbreds are primarily bred to run in the classics, or the major elite races. These include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Europe, the Caulfield and Sydney Cups in Australia, the Dubai World Cup in the Middle East, and the Gran Premio Internacional Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina. A more common type of race is the handicap, in which horses are assigned weights that reflect their ability to compete in a given race. These weights are adjusted for age, sex (filies carry less than male horses), and other factors.
Researchers have found that horse racing coverage in newspapers is more likely to frame elections as a game of chance than other sports and events. This effect is most pronounced in close races and in the weeks leading up to elections. They also found that newspaper ownership influences the extent to which horse racing coverage frames elections as a competitive game. Corporate-owned papers are more likely to report horse races in this way than independent or small-chain papers.